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Echoes of the Garden

6 - 1While working in my yard the other day, I was startled by something moving in the bushes.

Once I calmed down and saw what was happening, I ran to get my camera. A harmless (to me) garter snake had its jaws around a live toad and over the next half hour gave me a chance to watch something that looked like it should have been impossible.

I’ve had friends over the years who’ve had a special interest in snakes, poisonous or not. Not me.

  B - 1 I’m not sure how to explain my dislike for snakes. I’m quite sure that it has nothing to do with the way they are portrayed in the Bible. Seems to me that if I had any natural virtue, I’d feel akin and some compassion for the one creature that—like us, has in a noteworthy way been victimized and used by our common enemy.

What a complex and surprising role, however, the snake has been given. Because of what happened in the Garden it represents Satan (Gen 3:1-15). Then, on a pole—in a barren wilderness, it became a foreshadowing of Jesus (John 3:14-16) (Num 21:4-9).

2 - 1

After Dinner Picture

While the lion also has a similar distinction of representing both our enemy and savior, the snake, when contrasted to our Creator, seems to have become the first of the creatures to help us understand one of the clearest distinctions between good and evil.

There is an Accuser, and there is an Advocate… And every day of our lives we align ourselves, and draw our moral strength, from one… or the other.

Whether we identify with the victim snake, or the toad, may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.

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82 Responses to “Echoes of the Garden”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    “Whether we identify with the victim, snake, or the toad, may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.”

    Good morning Mart. There are a great many thoughts that arise in me as I read the story of the snake and toad and then settle on what it all means.

    Staying with the philosophical approach for the time being, it seems that for the toad life isn’t fair as for the snake by feasting on the toad it gets to live on.

    A familiar quote goes something like this, Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, naked I came into this world and naked I leave.”

    Our friend and teacher Solomon spent a great deal of time trying to figure it all out, with his concluding remarks found in Ecclesiastes 11:13, 14.

    Jesus taught us that what really mattered was how we treated others from birth to death and that life here in all its unfairness and harsh treatment didn’t matter because this was not our eternal home.

    Can we ever really compare ourselves to the animals God has filled the earth with? This is one of the most confronting issues of our time.

    Is mankind just another animal upon the earth or is he special because he was “created”, not an evolutionary result.

    If created then by who and for what purpose? To be eaten by the snake or to be master over the snake?

    I would guess it comes down to what you actually believe and what you want to believe.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Great topic — and one that illustrates so well that the truth of Scripture is not derived by literal reading and interpretation of Bible stories. At the same time, it is a great blessing to have garter snakes in your garden, Mart. They keep the vermin out. The actual creature does not deserve the fear and hatred we lavish on it.

    Personally, though Satan makes my skin crawl, I am fond of literal snakes. They are wondrously equipped to be efficient predators in humankind’s favor. They are cool, smooth and beautiful — a tube of muscle with fangs. Very nice.

    Every garden is an echo of Eden, it seems to me. The hours spent there are blessed.

    THE Lord God planted a garden
    In the first white days of the world,
    And He set there an angel warden
    In a garment of light enfurled.

    So near to the peace of Heaven,
    That the hawk might nest with the wren,
    For there in the cool of the even
    God walked with the first of men.

    And I dream that these garden-closes
    With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
    And their lilies and bowers of roses,
    Were laid by the hand of God.

    The kiss of the sun for pardon,
    The song of the birds for mirth,–
    One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
    Than anywhere else on earth.

    For He broke it for us in a garden
    Under the olive-trees
    Where the angel of strength was the warden
    And the soul of the world found ease.

    by Dorothy Frances Gurney

    61F and breezy here. Still under a heat advisory in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

    Blessings all day!

  3. street says:

    mart said,”Whether we identify with the victim snake, or the toad, may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.”
    in Revelation it talks about “all” the grass being burnt. leaving the ground exposed. remembering the ground is cursed and we are made from the ground. nothing is hidden from His eyes. sometimes things are obscured or purposely hidden from our perspective and not in malice or evil intent. they are done for our good out of love. take the covering of Righteousness that is in Christ Jesus. it is provided for all mankind, but we know not all will embrace this covering. they are content with the present circumstances. looking under the cover causes many problems, look to the One who covers, He will not abandon or leave us in the condition He found us. keep looking to Him, He is not slow about keeping His promises as some would have you think. the echoes of His love and faithfulness are even in the greatest adversity. He will not withhold any good thing from us including suffering in which he is intimately failure with. may He be exulted in His earthen vessels.

  4. joycemb says:

    Dr. David Chu, a psychologist, said, “We’re all victims of victims of victims”. No wonder we needed a redeemer to set things straight and give us a New perspective on being. If we search we will find, and be filled and fed at the same time.
    Seeking to find His blessings,

  5. poohpity says:

    The reason for killing in the animal kingdom sure does seem a lot different from the killing in the human kingdom. Nature seems to kill for sustenance or protection while human beings kill not only bodies for pleasure and pride if that is not bad enough but they also try to strip others of their value and worth through the mind and heart.

    I would imagine the accuser just sits back and watches as we devour one another throwing a little spark in every now and again to keep the battles raging while our advocate who does not seem as loud and vociferous offers peace, rest, shelter and safety.

  6. street says:

    mart said,” Seems to me that if I had any natural virtue, I’d feel akin and some compassion for the one creature that—like us, has in a noteworthy way been victimized and used by our common enemy.”

    yep, your right we don’t have any nature virtue!

    thinking virtue comes from being in the presents of the One who is virtuous and loving since we tend to adhere to things that we are exposed to. there is only one source for Holiness and Love. an inexhaustible mine of great treasure. the problem is the other mine that blows up in our face when we fail to recognize what it is or how disastrous it is. grace is the most prevalent stone mined, but there are many other divers and wonderful treasures to be found. don’t fall into the trap of keeping them. share them for we need them too!

  7. street says:

    poo said,”while our advocate who does not seem as loud and vociferous offers peace, rest, shelter and safety.”

    He speaks softly and has a BIG stick. the other guy has a little stick.

    i remind you He did bare His arm in the Old Testament several times and many people accuse Him of being not right. then again they have not come to the realization of who He is. deception is a really bad thing. God has reveled Himself in His Son. God did not deceive us. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. the darkness, passes away.

  8. joycemb says:

    Street a commentator on ODB today, July 7, who calls himself ‘doctor-perspective’ has a very interesting treatise on light/darkness you might enjoy.

  9. street says:

    joycemb i did catch that and i enjoy the docs perspective and many others on the web.

  10. street says:

    mart said,” What a complex and surprising role, however, the snake has been given.”

    if you mean satan i quite agree with you. in the eternal state people will look for him and his compatriots and not find them. yet he looms large in our minds and in the world. we are told he can not move God’s scale of justice at all. yet God moves mountains of sin and misery to those who call on Him in faith. thinking again of job and the suffering he went through. we are not told much of how he looked back on it. it will be even more interesting meeting and talking with God. some how i think there will be a quiet understanding. the best part, His unmerited acceptance and love back up with His obedient sacrifice. i can understand why it has never entered the mind of man what the eternal state will be like it is so foreign to us. this Morning Star needs to rise in our hearts.

  11. bubbles says:

    There is a place that sells material that is helpful in teaching Christian character traits to children. They have activities that are different levels of Blooms Taxonomy, which has now been replaced with Webb’s depths of knowledge. The higher the depth of knowledge, the deeper the learning experience.

    The material was a several page pamphlet. The writers would choose an animal and historical figure. They would give facts about the animal and person. Then they would use the animal’s behavior and characteristics to teach character traits the children could learn. The pamphlets were intended to be used by parents to teach their children. For instance, they chose the turkey vulture to teach children about humility. They chose the wolverine to teach about persistence. I learned that even the most repulsive and ugly animals have something good to instruct us.
    Solomon said, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.” There is always something new to learn in new places we would never think to look.

  12. poohpity says:

    street, saying God speaks softly and carries a big stick is called an oxymoron and the only big stick that is used since Jesus came is the Cross.

    Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
    And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
    But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
    He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
    All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
    Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.

  13. SFDBWV says:

    I have read many thoughts concerning the events in the garden and heard many sermons on the subject, but one that sticks out concerning the snake is that he didn’t always crawl on his belly in the dust of the earth nor eat “toads”.

    The concept being that as a result of his role in being the vessel through which Satan influenced Eve into giving in to her desires for the forbidden fruit, he became the snake we know of today as punishment.

    I don’t know and am not sure it matters concerning our redemption and return to a right fellowship with God.

    However it might matter to the snake as well as the toad.

    My 96 year old mother in law and her daughter, my first wife, didn’t care about the philosophical thoughts concerning the snake, they were and are terrified of them and when ever encountered they ran as fast from them as they could screaming for me to kill it.

    I have been snake bit a few times by non-poisonous snakes and even though such have no fangs they still have very sharp teeth and many of them. Enough to cause a good cut and need for a tetanus shot.

    Satan is also referred to as being a dragon.

    I haven’t yet seen any of those, but the ancient peoples of the earth did and had plenty to say about them. In fact to this very day dragon bones can be purchased from a certain province in China. Modern science believes the bones to be that of the extinct pterodactyl.

    Again I don’t know, but this is one of the marvelous adventures believing the Bible can take you on. Everything you don’t know is out there for you to learn and discover if you keep your mind open and not closed.

    Just in case none of you have ever picked up a black snake, when picked up they curl around your arm and secrete an odor exactly like the smell of skunk.

    Though infamous egg robbers in hen houses, they also help control the rat and mice populations. As do rattlesnakes.

    Both follow along the trail the rodents travel by “sensing” with their forked tongues.

    In my yard are toads ranging from the size of a fist to the size of a house fly as well as their cousins, the frogs. They all sing a symphony of thanks in the evening hours after a rain fall.

    Snakes like rats and spiders never have anything to
    “say” when seen they have already been watching you.

    A mostly rainy day up in the lower 70’s.


  14. street says:

    dear poo i was thinking of teddy roosevelt and his quote. yes the stick is an oxymoron. i would have to disagree with you on the only stick used is the cross as of late. i am thinking of the providence of God. thinking of the plagues, famines, wars since the cross. all instruments of God’s divine choosing. not to mention weather, flooding, earthquakes, and now we are begining to see celestial storms. sure some would say they are everyday normal occurrences. yet we are reminded in Revelation these events take on a divine over tone with penal intent. i am not saying these were penal in the present, its just that God is Lord of all or He is Lord of nothing. job suffered and it was nothing of his doing. job did attribute it to God and he was not reprimanded for this. he did get reproved for darkening His plan and purpose. it’s a tough neighborhood with God, but impossible without Him.

  15. poohpity says:

    street, gladly my thoughts on God are far different from yours. I believe Job’s suffering was not from God nor was it attributed to God by Job but Job’s friend accused God and we read the results for that, God said they were wrong which may be the way your thoughts on God are going. The natural disasters seem to be consequences of a fallen world. Jesus who is God in the flesh took the punishment on our behalf.

    The happenings in Revelation is an altogether different time when all things will be held into account.

    It seems when bits and pieces of the bible we are given are spliced together out of context some may come up with some far fetched notions. Being in God’s neighborhood is not tough to me it a place of peace, rest, protection and safety.

    Hopefully as you grow to know God better the conclusions will be different, I pray.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Just outside my kitchen window is a volunteer sunflower plant. It has grown out of an old copper wash tub we use for a flower pot that sets upon a stone wall. The sunflower is about 6 feet tall and from the ground or my window the undersides of the leaves are visible.

    Under two of the leaves are ant farming activities. There are very tiny little insects I guess to be aphids feeding from the center vein of the plant and they are corralled and herded just like cattle or sheep by ants.

    Quite interesting to watch as the two live in a balance of use and need of the other. The plant is large and has many leaves, but the farming activity only on two of the leaves that doesn’t seem to harm the plant at all.

    Life is very diverse and very special and like the drama played out by the snake and toad in Mart’s story goes on seen and unseen by those of us experiencing it Only God sees it all and is able to.

    Buried three people in the past few days, and two others in the past few weeks, each had their own story of life’s triumphs and struggles.

    Here in our world when death is so close we all wonder who is next.

    I am once again reminded that when we say goodbye to others that we leave them with the idea that it may be the last time they see us or we them and try then always to make the parting as pleasant as possible so that the last memory is good one. As once dead no one can go back and fix a quarrel or hard feelings.

    It would seem that in the end we are all “toads” here in this world, but with a promise of being invulnerable and eternal in the one to come.


  17. jeff1 says:

    Personally I am finding it a bit of both, it can be tough and it is in Jesus I find rest because of His death on the Cross.
    Every time I find the going getting tough I remember what Jesus said to His Father, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.’ I trust why God allows suffering either in my own life, the life of others or the world for in the Cross it is finished. This suffering is temporary but it is real to me when I come through it but God is with me even whether I believe it or not, for it is in His strength that I am sustained. It is why people can come through many trials because God is always with us in Spirit but it is my doubt that Satan does His work and why each trial brings perseverance which strengthens my faith and releases Satan’s hold on me. We are all different and raised differently and require different trials for God to reach us, what fits one is not going to fit another but we can trust God that whatever He allows is to bring us closer to Him, and so whatever trials come, I will face them knowing that God will either strengthen me to come through it or take me home which ever is His will for me. For I have got to know God through trials, for my own understanding was corrupted by wrong thinking and false teachers but this is not everyone’s experience and that is why we must all walk our own walk and for me God was not lost to me but I was certainly lost from Him. My desire is never to be so lost again but Satan is real to me and I have learned to not underestimate my enemy. My worst fear is that Satan would destroy my faith in God for I have seen it happen to many and understand how suffering, if not understood, can turn people away from God. Suffering for God’s plan is what I desire but when I make bad choices I suffer unnecessary. I find that History repeats itself and I have followed in my mother’s footsteps and made bad choices but God has sustained me and assured me of His forgiveness and that is the mystery of God that He knows individuals so well and deals with each of us where we are, and reassures us of His love and forgiveness always.

  18. jeff1 says:

    Reference my last post it is in reference to Pooh’s post July 6 7.32 pm post. ‘Being in God’s neighbourhood is not tough, to me it is a place of peace, rest, protection and safety.’

  19. poohpity says:

    I do not believe that God had ever meant for us to suffer that was the consequence of humanities actions when we had made the choice to follow our own desires, ego, etc.. From what I understand which is not very much God created for our enjoyment, use and discovery as well as to live in close fellowship with Him. We broke that and God fixed it.

    God did promise that there are going to be all sorts of trails, tribulations and sorrows but I wonder if that was a consequence from the beginning of humanities desire to go astray. I also know from life experiences all the stuff that we go through God never leaves us and can use it for benefit, nothing is wasted.

    I believe that God has individual relationships with each of us but that does not mean God’s changes in anyway. God is God that to me is so reassuring when everything else around us changes, He remains the same now that is security and safety. We all have the same means available to each believer to get to know Him but that again depends on each believer on how much effort one wants to put into the search but it is available to all. There is only One God.

  20. poohpity says:

    Then through John in the book of Revelation we see that same fellowship before it was broken happening again when He creates the new heaven and earth. Now if that sounds like a person carrying a stick to you then so be it but to me it shows that God has been very patient, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

  21. poohpity says:

    I understand for myself that I never get what I fully deserve even if it is being eaten by a snake. That is called God’s grace.

  22. poohpity says:

    May our hearts reflect Jesus;

    “We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds. You’re welcome if you are Old Leigh, New Leigh, Not Leigh, or just passing by.

    We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woke up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been in church since little Jack’s christening.

    We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like ‘organised religion.’ We’ve been there too!

    If you blew all your money on the horses, you’re welcome here. We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, ‘work too hard,’ don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

    We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost on the London Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and you!”

  23. jeff1 says:

    Pooh your post July 7 7.39 am

    I do not believe that God wanted us to suffer either but I do believe He expects us to suffer well because of who we are and the fact that we are chosen to be an example to a fallen world. It is only when we accept suffering as part of God’s plan do we show non believers how much faith we have in God. Christ accepted God’s suffering because it had to be and so if we are to follow in His footsteps then it will be necessary for us too, we cannot cherry pick for like our forefathers before us we must uphold the faith till death do us part.

  24. saled says:

    Maru sounds like an advocate for the snake, and rightly so. It has only been within the last 5 years that I have learned to appreciate the snake. My home is located on the edge of a forest, and just uphill from a small pond. Every spring
    I see lots of garter snakes come to sun themselves in our driveway, and I am often surprised by them in the garden or on the lawn. I used to kill a few every year and it seemed the rest would be more careful about staying out of my way.

    And then came my epic battle with the snake I found inside my home. It was a large female garter and she was trying to escape into an outside wall. I knew that if I lost her in the wall, I would never sleep in my house again. I won that epic battle, and then waged war on all of her kin.

    A year later we had a terrible mouse problem, and the news was filled with stories of horrible diseases that mice carry such as hanta virus. I will probably never be able to think of them as Maru does, as very nice, but now I respect them and have been happy to see them back in my garden once again. Thinking back on my war with the snakes makes me feel like King David when he called himself a bloody man.

  25. poohpity says:

    Viv, that sort of sounds like God is sadistic. I may be reading what you wrote wrong. So I will think about that.

  26. joycemb says:

    “There is an Accuser, and there is an Advocate… And every day of our lives we align ourselves, and draw our moral strength, from one… or the other”.

    This comment of yours, Mart, makes me think of how important it is to read and listen to what Peter, Paul, James and others are saying. Our actions are important; if we obey, we are following after Christ and not only that, He sent the Advocate(HS)to help, if not, we are bound to get into trouble listening and doing what the Accuser delights in watching us do.

  27. SFDBWV says:

    “Whether we identify with the victim, snake or toad, may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.”

    One thing about observing nature is that we are most often amazed and amused at their everyday ability to survive.

    The snake is created with the ability to eat the toad, the toad with the ability to catch insects and the raptor with the ability to catch and eat the snake.

    The one common denominator of all creatures is that everything dies, either at the hands of another creature or as time goes by.

    This past year has been especially damaging for Bill Cosby as his past behavior has caught up with him and he continues to lose stature in the world.

    The same group of people who tell us what we can say or how we are to think in the name of sensitivity to another’s sexual preference or color has surrounded Bill like circling sharks each taking a turn at feasting on the carcass.

    Any or all good things this man did in his lifetime doesn’t matter anymore to them as they strip him of honors and accolades.

    In the animal world the strong survive and the weak die. As previously stated in time all die even the strong.

    Something extraordinary came into the world with Jesus and what He had to say about both.

    “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5)
    ”That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)
    “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
    “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

    Jesus teaches what is contrary to what the world does with the promise of a perfect existence…But not for now.

    The world’s problem is that they think they can create the perfect world without God, His Son, nor any of their precepts.

    65 degrees and rain.


  28. jeff1 says:

    Pooh,what I am saying is that we live in a world that does no longer see God as the omnipotent power. Man has gone his own way and he does not see the need to look to God as he does not believe in God. Science is what modern men look to for answers. I know in Britain the old ways and values are being eradicated and science and technology are taking over. I have not faced the persecution of my forefathers in that I am free to go to my Church and practice my faith. I see and talk to others who are members of different Churches and a few of a different religion and there is a great falling away of believers and many want facts today to proof their beliefs and they see science and technology as the way forward. I see a day coming when proclaiming my faith will not be freedom of choice. How I react in that day will depend on my life of faith and my steadfastness in trusting God to be with me whatever happens in the here and now. Following Christ is never going to be easy and that is why I could have my moments like Peter had and deny Christ but we are a pre-destined chosen people whose wrong doings are already covered by the death of Christ for it is God and God only who knows the end times and the difficult times that lie ahead. What is happening is Biblical so God already knows how it ends as he knew Christ had to die on the Cross. We have to remember that up until the final days there are dark forces even in Heaven so God is not sadistic but knows we are fighting dark forces and requires us to be courageous in upholding what is becoming a minority view that He is the omnipotent God of the universe. It is in suffering that God has taught me about Himself, Satan, myself and those still being deceived by Satan. When the British Army were fighting the IRA the one thing they did not do was underestimate their enemy and as it turns out the IRA were trained by ex British soldiers who returned back from the world war to their own Country where their loyalties were to the republican cause. In the final days it will be difficult to trust anyone and I believe that is the days we are coming to. God be with us always.

  29. poohpity says:

    Dark forces in heaven? If God is Omnipotent then why one would feel the need to uphold anything does not God do that? The battles are all His and it is through His power that we overcome. That seems to be the very reason we trust and depend on Him above governments, other people, powers and principalities. Maybe when we look around and the rougher it looks to us then just maybe we will depend on God all the more.

  30. street says:

    thinking of the memorial in japan of the science and tech building left after the war, untouched as a reminder of it’s short comings. the short coming is not science and tech, it is man. it’s the same as when they brought the Ark into the city of david. they used a new and improved ox cart. did not go so good. i think of wood poles,used to carry the Ark “correctly”. we are reminded to take up our cross daily. it is easier than not. over time i am begining to understand this and believe it.

  31. street says:

    dear poo dependance on God is good. action or inaction can be bad depending on what we should be doing. Jesus said anytime is good for man. not so true with God He has never done anything in not keeping with His Holiness, Justice and Righteousness. His Love is what keeps us alive. apart from it we are dead. this love is manifested in Jesus. we need to be infested with this love. sometimes active sometimes still and quiet.

    i used the word infested because our hearts and bodies will fight against this like a virus. we are told to put these deeds and thought to death. a true Spiritual warfare. we know who wins. it gives great comfort in the circumstances. if i know nature correctly the snake will get eaten by something else. it good to be at the top of the food chain! even better to be a Son!

  32. joycemb says:

    Street going off your post to poo I have been thinking just this morning about how my thoughts from my past life BC come around and I used to feel so ashamed to even still have them. But lately I think of them as ghosts from the past that try to intimidate, yet, as you said, the enemy will attempt to fight us but we know Who has already won the battle. I grew up in probably a more debased culture than most here I’m guessing, but it doesn’t matter to God, He’s right there with me giving me strength every day to turn from those thoughts and turn to him. I used to be so afraid even of my own shadow!!! Yet Yeshua saved me! Yay!

  33. poohpity says:

    street, I am confused about what your point is.

    Aren’t we active when we believe and trust? Actively we are to do good, act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8 NLT However we are not to bash others, be the moral police, be an accuser, be a predator even if we are eaten or devoured or hated or persecuted which can only be done in the strength of God. That is what is difficult to trust an unseen God, to put all things in His hand and to rest in the assurance that He is in control when we do not even do the things we are given to do.

  34. street says:

    dear poo a couple points come to mind. you said,”Dark forces in heaven?” remember in Job satan was walking to and fro on the earth and went back to God, in heaven, and had a conversation with him? in Revelation he gets kicked out of heaven and his time is shorten. woe is the earth. side note don’t be afraid.

    next thought, you said,”Actively we are to do good, act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8″
    this is a miss quote and stuff added to it. homework time for you.
    yes we can do Micah 6:8 with man too, who is made in the image of God. we have to do this by faith. i remind you when abraham left ur behind he actually had no idea where he was going. same with us. yes it is a work of God but it is a work of do here on earth. it’s a very narrow road between faith and presumption. was walking today in a park that was new to me and was getting disoriented and flustered with my map reading abilities and applying it to the real world. got off the route several times, i chose to take, even after consulting the map. this is like switching between flying by the seat of your pants, not wise, and flying by instruments or a map. the switch in out minds is very subtle, but it does happen. those negatives you mention are do’s in God book but their are positive do’s too. it is a very broad playground when not trapped by sin or ignorance. not only is it a playground it is a garden too. one that God expect to find fruit in and sad to say many times disappointed.
    this faith is what produces fruit not us, we are the conduit. it is a faith in His unalterable word and person. it’s like God telling moses that only joshuah and caleb will be going into the promise land from the adult generation at the beginging of the 40 year journey. i don’t think he grasped the significance of that statement till later. God did give him hope, seeing it from afar like abraham. yes i am sadden by all this, but God has promised not to leave us or forsake us. His love will not run out on us. the church age will run it’s coarse, but then again His love will sustain the saints just like it will sustain israel. the cool park is God never fails at what He does. i still tremble at abraham holding the knife over his son and knowing who had called him to act.

  35. street says:

    a verse comes to mind after answering poo. it comes from Psalm 91:7 this verse is difficult too in that the right hand means people who are very close to you. there is sorrow in that too, but comfort in security with God. oh, that we were effective priest.

  36. poohpity says:

    street, I believe you combined several different things to prove your point but they do not seem to intersect. Satan although talking with God about Job was once the morning star, who was trying to rise himself above God because of his pride was cast out. So did God allow darkness to stay in heaven?(Isaiah 14:11-13 NLT)

    Yes I combined faith(James 2:17 NLT) with God’s will found in the Micah 6:8 NLT; Proverbs 21:3 passage. It is not our faith that produces fruit it is the Holy Spirit abiding within us (Gal 5:22-23 NLT).

  37. poohpity says:

    To be honest street, I do not know that much about the things that happen in heaven or the Spiritual realm but if I believe what it says in the bible that there will be no more tears, pain or suffering(Rev 21:4 NLT) when we are with the Lord which is heaven to me says that darkness will be drown out by the light.

  38. street says:

    dear poo the brokenness or fragmentation we see, is in us not God’s Word. God gives us light and grace to provide, comfort, heal, forgive, and love us. had a little chuckle about the light you mention in the shadow of His wing. the shadow is cast by our denseness, a play off the doc. so looking forward to new bodies of light and no shadows. Keep holding on to God, it is harder without Him.

  39. street says:

    poo you are right the fruit comes from the Holy Spirit and so does faith. i know it is tough to get your mind around this. it like looking to God and saying, ” you did not?!” and His reply, ” yes I did!”
    He really is a Great DAD!

  40. poohpity says:

    street, I never said it was God’s Word that was fragmented or broken. I do not have a tough time getting my mind around things of God because I do not try to figure it all out, I trust. But I do study God’s Word regularly for over 26 years including 22 times cover to cover, a 5 year in depth study as well as numerous bible studies and have taught many classes because it is important for me not to rely on my thoughts, presumptions or perceptions but to learn about the God I love from Him. As for me saying anything like, “light you mention in the shadow of His wing” I really do not remember saying anything like that. I am very comfortable being in the shadow of His Wing.

  41. street says:

    poo said.” If God is Omnipotent then why one would feel the need to uphold anything does not God do that?”

    He asks us to believe His Word and walk by faith. in doing this it requires action on our part. He told abraham to go and he went. He told Him him would have a son by sarah and he did. He told him sacrifice his son and he almost.

    man is the instrument of sovereign choice to manage the earth. would he not be the instrument in restoring it? He does this through His Only Son. and He, Jesus, chooses disciples. it a relationship of the eternal and creation. they are not separate. just the fact the Holy Spirit lives in some men tells me it is going to be a very long relationship. i don’t understand it all either poo but it greater and farther reaching than any or all of us have ever imagined. he gives us power to fill water jugs and move a stone away. these are humble task we can do, like washing feet. God’s humility is present in all His miracles. they were never performances, but to meet an extreme need. some did not accept His work or what He said. we must pursue Him with everything we got and at the same time live here on earth day in and day out. it’s what He’s called us to “do”. i think of the samaritan woman at the well living out her life in and town built on rebellion against God or the apostles living on without Jesus. it did not happen this way nor has it stopped in the present. hold on to what you have been taught by God. let Him add to it depth and clarity. when He is done it will really be something as opposed to dust and ashes. God made many more promises to abraham that he did not see, nations and royalty, and we did see this in history, and some that are yet future.

    one more thing, from “uphold anything”……the church is the pillar and upholder of the truth. poo you gave my heart a work out tonight.

    last thoughts, a little girl asked me,” why did God make me?” i asked her if she ever made chocolate chip cookies? she said yes. i said God loves chocolate chip cookies. He is a Master Craftsman and we are His master piece.

  42. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Concerning your post of 7/7 at 1:23 p.m. Saled — I had a battle with spiders similar to yours with garter snakes some years ago. I violently squashed every spider I found. But, I began to appreciate the place spiders have in the life of the world, so I stopped. Now, I get the water glass and the piece of paper & trap the spider and put it out in the rose bushes when I can. It seems to be a matter of balance.

    There is both life and death in this earthly garden. God’s creatures kill to eat or to survive. It is only humans whose hearts contain the seeds of war. People kill each other off on principle — or for the sake of a closely held belief.

    Isaiah’s vision of the Messiah’s kingdom fulfilled is a scene of supernatural peace:

    Leopards will lie down
    with young goats,
    and wolves will rest
    with lambs.
    Calves and lions
    will eat together
    and be cared for
    by little children.

    Cows and bears will share
    the same pasture;
    their young will rest
    side by side.
    Lions and oxen
    will both eat straw.

    Little children will play
    near snake holes.
    They will stick their hands
    into dens of poisonous snakes
    and never be hurt.

    Nothing harmful will take place
    on the Lord’s holy mountain.
    Just as water fills the sea,
    the land will be filled
    with people
    who know
    and honor the Lord. (Isaiah 11:6-10)

    Just thinking about Echoes of the Garden,

  43. joycemb says:

    9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 Amp

    Isn’t that grand!

  44. poohpity says:

    Yes, it is grand to proclaim the wonderful excellencies of our God. His wonderful deeds that display His virtues, perfections and His calling.

  45. joycemb says:

    Deb, please accept my apologies for the name calling, labeling, and just being a pain in the you- know- what to you over the past year. You are right, I am not your judge and I’ve been wrong about doing that. In Christ’s love, Joyce

  46. poohpity says:

    Thank you Joyce and I offer my heart felt forgiveness.

  47. jeff1 says:

    How I see the world and God at work in the world is from my perspective. I have not studied God’s word and I am happy with listening to my Preachers teach it because I trust them knowing them as I do. I also have learned from false teachers and the wisdom of my earthly father when I am being led astray.
    I accept all types of people I know as being God’s children even though they do not themselves claim to be God’s children. I have found that many who claim to be God’s children do not speak words or act like they are while many who do not claim behave in a way that reveals God’s redemptive power. I know people who would tell you I am always here if you need anything and they are never available when you need them. I know others who would make no such a promise but if you approached would do anything for you. It takes all sorts and this world is full of all sorts and that includes myself, if I can I will do someone a good turn and if I do it, it out of the goodness of my heart and not for what I get in return. I do not see my good deeds as making a difference to my relationship with God as many non believers do very good deeds. I often find people I help are genuinely grateful while some dismiss you and treat you like you are one of their slaves. I have found that those who are grateful are much happier people than those who are not. I have learned to live and let live with people of a different, class, creed, culture and beliefs because I expect others to allow me to do the same. I have come into this world with nothing and I will leave this world with nothing and I trust God who has watched over me and others during my life in trials, waywardness and faith in Him because he is all knowing, all caring and all forgiving. I have things I like about myself and things I hate and others I know are the same but we live with ourselves knowing God sees us all as his children flawed, failed and forgiven and looking forward to an eternity when we will be changed to wholesome beings who will no longer make bad choices, judge people harshly and live in harmony with like minded people and our God as was His plan for us from the beginning of time till the end of time.

  48. poohpity says:

    Viv, I understand what you are saying. Trusting people or expecting them to act certain ways is really quite worthless because knowing myself I even let myself down.

    If you chose not to read God’s word for yourself that is between you and God. God put the desire in my heart to learn and I was very curious about Him. I am like that with just about everything even when I listen to the news, politicians or any other information source, I do further research or fact check because I do not trust until I find out for myself.

    My perceptions of things comes with the baggage of my life experiences, feelings and thinking which sways things. I want to know truth without being colored by my understanding. I want my thinking to be transformed so that I can look at things, circumstances, people through the eyes of Jesus, so I read the bible to learn.

  49. bubbles says:

    “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” ~Shakespeare

  50. street says:

    poo said,”My perceptions of things comes with the baggage of my life experiences, feelings and thinking which sways things. I want to know truth without being colored by my understanding. I want my thinking to be transformed so that I can look at things, circumstances, people through the eyes of Jesus, so I read the bible to learn.”

    sounds like the need to take up your cross. we all do and it is difficult. He will sustain you at all times. even with repentance…..belief……baptism…..Bible…..reading…..church attendance…..and …..praying without ceasing……one thing you lack “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all mind, with all strength, and with all your soul.” return to your first love. i need to be reminded of this “daily”. the elders of Jesus day could say they did all these thing but their hearts were far from Him.

  51. joycemb says:

    Street I was like that for many years, and have only myself realized that some things about me are never going to change. I was a ‘seeker’ of the truth also, and still am, but I have to carry my cross, as assigned by God, as you say, ‘daily’. It’s a daily picking it up and laying it down at Jesus’ feet. He bids us to come as we are, baggage and all, and they become glorious crosses with the privilege of walking the same road as the Savior. I die daily.

  52. joycemb says:

    have only ‘recently’ recognized….

  53. street says:

    after blogging and reading it over. the obvious thing is that we must be born again. not of the flesh or the will of man, but of God. i really need to understand this because nicodemus got rebuked for not knowing or understanding when he should have. the Bible talks of water and Spirit and water and blood. i also understand He is speaking prior to the cross. there is need of more time with Him. i have been troubled by this before and now He has brought it back. i am a remedial learner. reminds me of His yoke of being light and gentle. but i have to admit His rebukes really get your attention. i am glade He cares so much to speak the hard stuff. i know when i have spoken i can get in big trouble with my peers and neighbors. understanding and boldness are needed so they can look a little deeper. i believe people really want real food. it just they might have to die to get it.

  54. jeff1 says:

    I find living in a world that is becoming alien to me means I will be ready to die when my time comes. It happened with my grandmother and I can see it will happen me. Science and technology have changed the world dramatically and the younger generations are whiz kids on technology while I just get by. I see 2 year olds playing games on mobile phones that I could not use. Education and technology are very advanced from my youth and I feel more and more left behind as the years go on. Having two grown up sons who keep me right is a great blessing or I would find this world much more stressful. I guess its what you have grown up with for it does not seem to stress the younger generation and they take to it like a duck to water. It seems we are born for our time and the many changes that happen in the world from cradle to grave leave us ready to leave this world for the next generation whom God has equipped for their time whether they realize it or not.

  55. poohpity says:

    street, it is more than obvious you did not understand what that comment was saying but you did give a good example of it’s meaning by your comment.

  56. joycemb says:

    Street your post at 2:59 confirmed what I was thinking and confronted someone about today. I must prepare myself for whatever comes of it. I may loose a good friend. But I pray not.

  57. street says:

    joycemb….will be praying for you and your friend.

    what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
    what a privilege to carry everything to God in pray!
    can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? take it to the Lord in prayer.

    poo mentioned earlier about no more tears, it does not say now, but later. He’s finished, and a great comfort when we turn to Him. i keep asking myself why do i turn away??????? thinking it may not be turning way, just new circumstances…..we shall see.

  58. street says:

    had a thought mart the tree in the garden which appeared to be alive resulted in death. the cross which appears to be dead when taken results in life. that is upside down.

  59. joycemb says:

    Street, God is already IN the new circumstances, you can wrap your head around that! I so appreciate yours and others prayers for my friend. She grew up in a very dysfunctional but religious (Salvation Army) home and doesn’t seem to be able to integrate her secular life and her spiritual life.

    Thinking about the garden and the hill of Golgotha, the hill was ‘outside the camp’ the community of the Law keepers-religious. Death had to recreate the ‘new Eden’ along with the new Adam. We all must die to be born again into Life as God intended. Am thinking even my predilection to ‘think every thing to death’ must die also. Simplicity, there’s that word again.

  60. street says:

    thinking of oswald chambers thoughts that everything is not to teach us something, but to build character. thinking conformity to Jesus. thinking idolatry makes one blind deaf and dumb. in other words you become like what you love. also thinking people find the “Rock” and not build anything on it. not understanding that there is a storm coming or the significances of the “Rock”. this verse comes to mind, “unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain that build it.” hope the building code is quite clear in our minds. this brings me back to poo’s post and the importance of faith. seamless, unstoppable, immoveable, unchangeable comes to mind. hope in Him. His Spirit is at work in the children of God.

  61. poohpity says:

    Mart’s prayer, “may God help us to see what is happening in and around us.”

    I was thinking this morning have you ever noticed the closer you get to God one begins to discover all the work that needs to be done in my own life that one stops doing quality control of others? He deals with the areas in my life with truth but so flavored by grace that I stand in awe. When I look around I see the need for God’s love in the lives of all. I can ask God why aren’t you doing something but the reply always seems the same that is why I created you, to give the unconditional love you received from me with patience, slow to anger and rich in mercy.

  62. joycemb says:

    My friend said she had been sensing the same conviction I was about something she was doing, but was thankful for having a Christian friend to remind her of God’s will in the matter. She said “We so need each other to keep us on track”.

    It is hard fighting the flesh alone, we do need people in our lives who love us unconditionally and are patient, slow to anger, and rich in mercy; yet love us enough to confront when we start walking away from God’s will.

  63. street says:

    joycemb said,”Death had to recreate the ‘new Eden’ along with the new Adam. We all must die to be born again into Life as God intended.”

    God is light and in Him is no darkness.
    God is life and in Him is no death, He is eternal.
    we turn to heaven, if you will, to knock on heavens door because we find death and evil in us and all around.”separation” through the grace of God we find an open door in Christ Jesus. Jesus did die in order that we who do die, will never die. i think our hearts are to remain in heaven even though we find ourselves here on earth. was reading about the guy who showed up at the wedding feast and was not wearing the proper clothes. the King asked, “how did you get in here?” he was speechless. then tied and bound and thrown out into the darkness. the new eden is really the original one that is restored by the second Adam who was not created, but the Creator/God. beginning to understand that the created and eternal where not meant to be separated even now they seem to be but are not. we are quite dependent yet free to choose. the hard part is learning the gifts of the Spirit. love joy peace patients goodness gentleness faithfulness self control. there are informed choices to make in order for these to flourish. repentance…..belief……baptism…..Bible…..reading…..church attendance…..and …..praying without ceasing… some how i get the idea that faith is not linear, but a break from the old way. He makes all things new. hope you are not struggling with the Spirit. dear children keep yourselves from idols.

  64. street says:

    i think i misunderstood what you said joycemb. i think i see what you are saying. it’s truly great to receive an invite to the wedding feast. even more important to go. it’s the waiting that kills me! pun intended.

  65. joycemb says:

    Street thank you, I knew there was something wrong with that sentence but couldn’t find it. Yes, of course Jesus was God incarnate.

    If you are asking me if I am struggling with the Spirit, no, my struggle is with dysthymia/anxiety.

  66. poohpity says:

    I guess I do not remember where we are taught to remind our friends of God’s will or if they are out of it but it does say those who are spiritual(awareness of our propensity to sin) to go one on one to the person who is caught up in sin to guide them back to the Lord. Since it is in the NT in the Corinthian church that is taught I believe it was speaking of sexual sin.

    Jesus said, “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, “he”(Holy Spirit) will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 THE WORLD”S SIN IS THAT IT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN ME.(John 16:7-9 NLT) So it sounds to me like it is better to let God do His work and for us to recognize how much work is yet to do in our own lives to get a fuller understanding of His Grace.

    It does say that we are to confess our faults and failures to one another but not for us to point out those faults and failures in others, so that we can pray for each other. Wouldn’t be a better and safer place if we each admitted to those things.

  67. jeff1 says:

    I have to say Pooh that it is because I now recognise my faults and failures that I am less critical of others. This I believe God worked out in me so that I would stop being judgemental but I do find it difficult at times and have to keep myself reminded that it is God’s place to judge. Being brought up in a violent society made me see myself better than I was because I was not a violent person I felt I was better than I was but that did not stop me from having critical thoughts and hatred in my heart and until I realized this I was lost in my ignorance. It means that I know how I blinded myself to the truth and I see others still doing this and until a person is ready to face this they will not listen if someone was to point it out to them, we believe what we want to believe until God gives us a wake up call. I was ready to listen because I knew in my heart it was wrong to feel the way I did towards others and claim to be a believer in Christ but I do find it difficult when I come across people who should know better but are just as lost as I was but I do not make accusations but point out why I am the way I am. I agree that it is better if we admitt to these things but false teaching as convinced many that they are right in their beliefs and it can be difficult to convince them otherwise.

  68. joycemb says:

    My reference is from James 5:19,20. It is speaking to believers about believers. I take it very seriously especially because I love my friend very much, and she is prone to wander into sin that could have bad consequences.

  69. joycemb says:

    Galatians 6:1 speaks for itself also.

  70. poohpity says:

    Viv, I share in that struggle also.

    Joyce what I was saying came right before the verses you listed in verse 16. I thought you said you were reminding her of God’s will for her? Clearly I misunderstood. Forgive me.

  71. joycemb says:

    God’s will is that we live holy and godly lives.

  72. SFDBWV says:

    I have always enjoyed God’s sense of humor.

    I read a lot of “Space” news as the science of astronomy is fascinating to me. Several years ago I read that close up pictures of the tiny rocks and ice in Saturn’s rings were so shaped as to look like the planet with a ring attached to them.

    Now that we are getting a closer look at the planet Pluto what we see is a huge heart etched into the surface for us to see.

    I love it, the closer we look the clearer God becomes.

    The closer we look at the faults of ourselves and that of others the clearer our need for a Savior becomes.

    He is there knocking at the door all we need do is answer and open up.

    Dense fog and 57 degrees.


  73. poohpity says:

    I thought God’s will is that we believe in the One He sent.

  74. joycemb says:

    Gods will is that unbelievers become believers by trusting Jesus as the Messiah, Savior of the world.

    Gods will for believers is holiness, godliness, and faithfulness.

  75. poohpity says:

    Well we are made holy and godly by Christ Jesus for the purpose of doing good deeds (Eph 2:10; 2 Cor 9:8; 2 Tim 3:17)and to share the Good News of God’s grace(Acts 20:24 NLT)

  76. joycemb says:

    Right, the more we have of God, the less of sin in our lives. The closer to God, the more we exude holiness and godliness in our lives.

  77. joycemb says:

    1 Peter 1:15-17New Living Translation (NLT)

    15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”[a]

    17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”

  78. jeff1 says:

    Fear of God is why I am crippled in taking the next step. For I have made many bad choices and I have no longer the counsel of my earthly parents. I fear God because it seems I have created my own jail that is in my head and I cannot seem to find a way out. I cannot find words to say to God either in prayer or talking to Him for I just find that I am in agreement with Him that I have like so many in the world went my own way and am now suffering the consequences of doing so. My hope therefore is that eternity will free me from being a temporary resident in a hell of my own making. As I see it Christ did not die for the righteous for the righteous are already in God’s realm but He died for me a sinner who cannot find their own way home.

    I means these words when I take holy communion monthly for as a creature of habit I keep coming back for foregiveness because it is as a creature of habit that I have failed to do right.

    We do not presume to come to this the Table, O Merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose nature is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of they dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that he may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. God is with me from the cradle to the grave, in sickness and in health, in poverty and prosperity, in failure and success, in my knowledge and my lack of knowledge, he is with me in all things good and bad for He is in my being, He is why I exist for without Him I would be NOTHING. The lie that I believed and that so many believe today is that Satan can snatch me from His hand but the TRUTH is if I am in God’s will nothing can snatch me from His hand for that is the miracle of God’s redemptive power. My mother used to say the devil looks after his own but so too does God and it is in that knowledge that I find peace and rest for my weary soul.

  79. joycemb says:

    Dear Viv, I wish and pray that you would read your Bible as you would find a wealth of knowledge and guidance into how to manage your life and break free from the tyranny of the mind you feel trapped in. The Word of God holds everything we need to live godly and fearlessly in this broken world as you know well how broken it is. I’m so glad you had godly parents to guide you but now that you are older the scriptures can be like parents to you once again, giving you wisdom and help and hope for living now in this world. If reading is difficult there are web sites that will read the Bible to you. If you are interested I will look them up for you. May God bless you with greater knowledge of Himself today! Blessings, Joyce

  80. jeff1 says:

    I have to keep it simple, Joyce, for I am a simple person, perhaps too simple for this world. I have always got it wrong, by that, I mean I have made bad choices, but the upside of making bad choices is that you learn to discern people who make good choices and you look to them for advice. I know the Bible is very important to you but I am being honest with you, although I am not a Roman Catholic I share their view that laymen interpretating scripture has caused false teaching and confusion among believers. This seems to be part of God’s plan for He may divide before He gathers up. I may feel hopeless in myself but I do trust God in my hopelessness. The reason I believe I make mistakes is that History repeats itself and I see myself turning into my mother who did likewise. I also see my Children making the mistakes I made so their is a cycle of bad choices. Thank you for your offer to look for web sites but I feel I am coping and have not had too many setbacks and like to take one day at a time for I have overloaded myself with knowledge in the past and ended with a breakdown so I have learned my limitations. Thank you for your concern and God bless you too.

  81. joycemb says:

    Viv I think I understand your situation but what matters most is very simply do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? You don’t need to answer me but that is the simplicity of the a Gospel, the Good News that inviting Jesus into our lives and accepting His sacrificing His life for all. Believing that our sins are forgiven and because of that we have eternal life; no baggage, just clean and pure as the snow. Lost but found! Yay!

  82. jeff1 says:

    Yes Joyce, I must keep that in my mind and meditate on it so that nothing in this world can steal my joy in knowing that God is an all knowing, all forgiving and an all loving God. God speed the day when the world is free from beliefs that say different.

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